Budding Packers TE Suffers Multi-Month Injury, Seen Wearing Sling

Tucker Kraft

Getty Tucker Kraft will be sidelined for multiple months due to an injury.

The Green Bay Packers saw great attendance to start OTAs, but fans learned of some unfortunate injury news involving a handful of players, including second-year tight end Tucker Kraft.

Andy Herman with Pack-A-Day reported via X that Kraft was spotted at practice on Tuesday, May 21. However, Kraft wasn’t participating and was spotted with his arm in a sling.

Following practice, head coach Matt LaFleur spoke with reporters. When asked about Kraft’s sling, LaFleur revealed that he would be out until the start of training camp. He also implied that Kraft likely suffered a torn pec.

The good news is that Kraft will be ready by the time training camp comes around.  But that also means he’ll miss out on some crucial offseason work to get on the same page with Jordan Love.

Tucker Kraft’s Breakout Rookie Season

Expectations weren’t that high for Kraft as a rookie. However, he ended up producing a very solid first season in the NFL.

Kraft was an unknown commodity as a high school player from Timber Lake, South Dakota. Coming from a city with a population of just 503 people, Kraft had almost no interest from colleges.

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits took a chance on Kraft, and it panned out. He left the program as a two-time FCS All-American with back-to-back first-team All-Missouri Valley selections.

The Packers took a chance on Kraft with their third-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft. However, they had already taken another tight end in Luke Musgrave earlier in the draft, making it an uphill battle for Kraft to get playing time early.

An early-season injury to Musgrave helped Kraft see the field as a rookie, and he shined in limited opportunities. Along with being an outstanding blocker in the run game, Kraft finished the year with 31 receptions for 355 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Kraft even scored another touchdown in the NFC divisional round against the San Francisco 49ers. With so much experience and playing time as a rookie, Kraft has a real chance to thrive in training camp once he’s healthy.

Who Will Be Green Bay’s Third Tight End?

Kraft and Musgrave have both established themselves as starting-caliber tight ends early into their careers. However, there’s bound to be a training camp competition for the third tight end on the depth chart.

Ben Sims operated as the third tight end for the majority of last season. The Packers had signed him off of the Minnesota Vikings practice squad at the beginning of the season. The former UDFA wasn’t a star by any means, but he was able to haul in his first career touchdown in a crucial Week 13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sims won’t be totally safe with his job, however. Tyler Davis was expected to be TE3 on the depth chart last season, but suffered a torn ACL during the team’s preseason opener. He missed the entire 2023 season, but could be coming back to compete for his old job with Sims.

Other tight ends trying to compete for playing time will include Joel Wilson and Messiah Swinson, but both are viewed as longshots to make the final 53-man roster.

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